New in town, hostage negotiator Detective Kit Kenyon is partnered with Detective Noah Lambert – against his will. Feeling guilt over the death of his previous partner, Noah isn’t quite ready to take on a new one, but doesn’t have much choice. Within mere weeks of working together, Kit and Noah are thrown into a serial killer case. On top of dealing with the pressures of the job and getting to know (and falling in love with) her new partner, Kit is also getting to know her family. Having recently found out that she was adopted at birth, Kit left her adoptive family and home behind to get to know her birth family. Dealing with extreme feelings of rejection on one hand and guilt on the other, questioning her place in the world and her relationship with God, Kit is forced to take a hard look at her life when the killer focuses his attention on her, and she starts wondering how long she might have left to live.
As previously mentioned, I wasn't blown away by Lynette Eason's Too Close To Home, and sadly I didn’t find A Killer Among Us to be much better. The writing is a little too light for my taste, and at times a little too cutesy. The way the characters speak sometimes came across very unnatural to me. I also got very annoyed with the investigators who didn’t immediately connect the deaths (could it be any more obvious they are related?), and that they didn’t immediately make the connection that all the victims (save one) were in the graduating class from the same Law School. This is supposed to be a detective novel – I need the detectives to be sharper and not catch on much later than I do. About halfway through the book: “They’re all law students. I wonder if that’s the connection somehow?”. Really?! You think?! The response: “Possibly.” My word…
There are also a lot of little inconsistencies in this novel. First, a piece of evidence is a diamond and ruby tennis bracelet. Later it magically turns into a diamond and emerald tennis bracelet. Kit’s signature scents are initially said to be vanilla soap and strawberry shampoo. Later, it is combined into vanilla shampoo. At one point Kit reflects something along the lines of “So she was killed sometime this morning”, when by my calculations it should have been “sometime yesterday morning”. Readers pick up on these things! Ms Eason and her editor should have been much more observant. Impeccable details are what make a great novel. Furthermore, Kit and Noah are partners, yet when she gets shot and it is decided she has to stay in the hospital overnight, he doesn’t even come back to check on her. She later decides to take a couple of days leave during a serial killer investigation, but doesn’t bother to tell her partner. Unrealistic! Partners always have each other’s backs. In real life, they wouldn’t do things like that.
On the positive side, Kit’s internal struggle at dealing with finding out she was adopted, attempting to accept it and get to know her birth family and get over her anger towards her adoptive family, was very realistic and heartbreaking at times. Her need to hold onto self righteous anger is very convincing. Kit’s need for a relationship with God, and her gradual submission in giving God her heart is the most beautiful and best written part of the story. Since the spiritual aspect is ultimately the whole point of the novel, I guess that makes up for the other little issues.
If you enjoy books about building bridges with God, you won’t be disappointed in this one. Just don’t focus too hard on the police work details. It’s not a hardcore crime drama, so don’t expect to have to work hard to connect the dots, but if you’re in the mood for a quick, light read, this book might be the way to go.
Title: A Killer Among Us
Author: Lynette Eason
Number of pages: 352